Suninen moves into Toyota WRC frame following test

WRC2 frontrunner Teemu Suninen has moved into contention for a Toyota WRC seat after completing a tarmac test for the Japanese marque in Catalunya.

Toyota will make its WRC return next year under the championship's new regulations, and will be one of three factory teams in the series following Volkswagen's exit.

The team, led by WRC legend Tommi Makinen, has so far only announced its long-time test driver Juho Hanninen for a full-time seat for next year.

Fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi, who is driving for Skoda Motorsport in WRC2, seemed to be the leading candidate to join him in recent months.

The 25-year-old is currently third in the WRC2 standings, but is leading in Rally Australia, where he needs to finish second or higher in order to clinch the title.

However, Lappi still hasn't been confirmed for a WRC drive by Toyota, and he was absent from the team's latest test in Catalunya, where Hanninen and Suninen shared driving duties.

Suninen, 22, is second in the WRC2 standings, and also spent his season in a Skoda Fabia R5 but without the factory support of the marque. He is not competing in Australia.

While Lappi remains the leading candidate to become Hanninen's teammate at Toyota, Suninen could drive a third car with the Japanese squad, should it not manage to sign Volkswagen refugee Jari-Matti Latvala.

Additional reporting by Giacomo Rauli

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Esapekka Lappi , Teemu Suninen
Teams Toyota Racing
Article type Breaking news